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Mr. VoRys. Mr. Chairman, would it be possible to ask a question at this point?
Chairman EATON. Proceed.
Mr. Vorys. Mr. Austin, you say in your statement "only one of the five was willing to amend the Charter in this regard” and that was the United States of America.
Was the United States the only country that was willing to call a meeting to consider the matter? There would be two things: One is, were the five willing to amend, and another would be, were they willing to have a meeting to discuss the matter?
Ambassador Austin. That question was not asked. Our business was to ascertain what probability there might be of amendment of the Charter with respect to the veto with regard to chapter 6 and the admission of the new States. The question of whether they would be willing to call a convention to consider it was not asked. We assumed that if we could not get them interested in amendment of the Charter, we certainly could not get them to call a meeting to amend the Charter. That would be just a waste of energy, and it takes all the energy we have to put through the business that we think has a fair prospect of going through.
Does that answer your question? Mr. Vorys. That answers the specific question. I do not want to interrupt further now. Chairman Eaton. Let the witness proceed, and we will ask questions later.
Ambassador AUSTIN. I call attention, before leaving this point, to a document with which I think you may be familiar. It is Proposed Reforms of the United Nations, which you will find in your confidential memorandum at page 14. (The document referred to appears on pp. 479-480.) I do not need to say any more about it. It shows to you that the United States is eager to do those things for improving the practices with regard to the unanimity rule which are practicable under the Charter.
Indeed the United States has declared publicly, in the General Assembly, and in the Security Council, that it stands ready to amend the charter with respect to the voting procedure under chapter 6, and the admission of new members.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. Are these 31 points listed at page 14 and page 15 confidential?
Ambassador AUSTIN. No. They were prepared in response to an additional resolution of the Interim Committee of the General Assembly calling for proposals from every country wishing to present them. The Interim Committee, popularly known as the Little Assembly, includes all the member states in its membership. Every member was asked to file, if he wished to, proposals for amendment of the rules by the 15th of March. We filed ours before the 15th of March; it is public property.
Mr. Chairman, I will proceed with my formal statement. It is my firm conviction that, in the present conditions confronting the world, at least four of the permanent members will exert their influence to prevent a convention being called under article 109 for reviewing the present Charter with a view of amending it.
Therefore, what procedure should we adopt? In the first place, we have to know where our trouble is, and the specific objective we are
aiming at. If experience during the brief life of the United Nations is a guide safe to be followed, then we ought right here and now to consider that experience. What is it?
Let us look at what has been accomplished in connection with the first task, namely, removal of the causes of war.
May I divert for just this observation : Sometimes we see statements to the effect that the United Nations is a failing instrument, that the United Nations is not effective.
In other words, the attempt is made to lay the foundation for change by undertaking to prove that the United Nations needs this particular change.
What I undertake to demonstrate is that the United Nations does not need change in those places where an attempt is made to apply it. I then expect to show that it would be folly to carry on further and disrupt the United Nations by separating its members from each other.
The first item that I referred to as an objective in the Charter relates to removal of the causes of the war and that is attained through the Economic and Social Council. It now has 12 commissions of experts at work. These include three regional economic commissions which are studying the feasibility of concerted regional action for raising levels of economic activity. A fourth is starting. Rules have been agreed upon for increasing international trade in a changing world economy and organizing to make these rules effective. Specialized agencies are at work on financial problems, on health problems, on problems of human rights and the freedom of information.
The three postwar years have seen the building of more instruments for constructive international cooperation than ever before in history. During this present year, the United Nations network of international organizations is bringing governmental representatives together at more than 2,500 meetings. That is an average of about seven meetings a day.
The Food and Agriculture Organization provides a good example of what is actually being done.
Its studies have revealed that with the expected increase in population—now this is an astounding fact-food production in the next 25 years must be increased 110 percent if we are to avoid mass starvation with all its accompanying hazards to peace and stability.
Consequently, it has established the World Food Council to help allocate exportable food surpluses and fertilizers, to promote the production and distribution of farm machinery, and to focus attention on dangerous food situations.
It has sent agricultural experts on special missions to Greece, Poland, and Siam to work out plans for increased agricultural production in these countries.
It has held international conferences to increase production of rice, cereals, and timber. It has helped countries in the Near East to begin deep-well irrigation and swamp-drainage projects.
It is aiding Peru to establish refrigeration and storage facilities for its fishing industry. Iran, Czechoslovakia, and China have received help on specific projects to increase their food supplies.
It has undertaken other food-producing measures such as field demonstration schools in western Europe on hybrid corn, artificial insemination, and veterinary techniques.
It has given advice to the International Bank on loans for the purchase of agricultural and industrial machinery.
These positive accomplishments are little known. The conflicts that have been prevented never make the headlines. A single veto in the Security Council gets more publicity than an entire session of the Trusteeship Council or the Economic and Social Council. And it is easy to forget that there is no veto in any of the United Nations agencies which are advancing the economic, social, and ethical standards of mankind. Collective effort to remove the causes of war and create the conditions of peace cannot be vetoed.
We have given only a partial survey of the work which one of the 12 specialized agencies of the United Nations has under way to remove conditions that lead to conflict.
These agencies are at work removing ill health, poverty, ignorance, economic conflict, and intolerance which are causes of shooting war. Let us encourage and not hinder them. Let us support the United Nations, instead of destroying it.
The second task is comprehended in chapter VI, Pacific Settlement of Disputes. This task is being performed; but here help is needed, and it is needed from you. Your support of all of our different efforts will help us to progress in this direction.
Please do not misunderstand my position here. We want your help. We regard the Charter of the United Nations as being full of imperfections; but we regard it as a living instrumentality, one that is vital, that is bound to grow and can never be static. As we use it, as we learn how to use it, it will grow in efficiency and power. And we must be careful to do nothing in our ambition to improve it that will destroy it.
War cannot be abolished without substituting something for it. Historically, it has been a means of determining political solutions. Yes, its results are so tragic that other means must be found to arrive at real solutions. As a matter of fact, a solution by force is not a real solution.
The dreadful curse of massacre is an impelling force which drives us forward toward all reasonable measures for strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to perform its second task,
Chapter VI, Pacific Settlement of Disputes, is by far the most important part of the Charter. Experience in the United Nations with "disputes and situations, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security,” leads to the judgment that we should stay within chapter VI just as long as it is humanly possible to do so.
Let me say in passing that the temptation is very, very great to step out of chapter VI and into chapter VII. Why? Because in the disputes or situations that are brought to the United Nations the parties always are difficult, stubborn, and unwilling to yield. Also around the horseshoe of the Security Council, there are 11 different countries having different views about the same problem. Therefore, after months of unsuccessful effort in trying to bring the parties to a solution by negotiation and agreement, there is a very strong temptation to step over to chapter VII and say, “Now we will call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as the Security Council deems necessary or desirable.”
That is a dangerous thing to do. That is why it is our judgment that we should stay within chapter VI just as long as it is humanly possible to do so. It takes patience.
The frailty in the Security Council to which I wish to point is one of procedure. We have encountered a misuse of the veto. It is in chapter VI, where we seek to substitute for war the great principle of agreement, that the misuse of the veto has caused skepticism, criticism, and search for improvement. Right here it is necessary to reconcile with the facts the efforts at strengthening the United Nations.
The Soviet Union has exercised the veto 23 times—11 times on membership applications, 9 times on issues of pacific settlement, and 3 times on the Balkan issue.
That is just one issue, by the way, but there were three votes involved on that one issue. Just think of the relative significance of that when you consider that nearly all the legislation before the committee relates to the field in which we have had just one case where there has been a use of the veto. And, as I shall show you,
the use of the veto in that case did not stop the United Nations in its great mission.
I undertake to prove that the United Nations has not failed because of the veto.
It is not true that the United Nations has failed because of this veto. On the contrary, it has succeeded in spite of the veto, as I will later demonstrate. However, it is true that the United Nations could expedite its service and accomplish more effective solutions of disputes and situations if the veto privilege were not permitted to interfere with pacific settlement of disputes.
Your earnest work toward strengthening the United Nations is encouraging because of the influence which your views may have upon the adoption of improved practices and procedures within the Charter.
When it becomes feasible to amend the Charter in respect to Chapter VI, as well as in respect of admission of new members, the strong position you will have taken in criticism of this frailty should prove to be of great assistance to the members of the United Nations.
Although the United States is ready, the time has not yet arrived for amendment of the Charter even to that extent. I have already proved to you it has not arrived.
Now, let me show what has actually happened in the use of the United Nations to substitute pacific solutions for war, in which I say it has succeeded.
1. The Security Council succeeded in inducing the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from the territory of Iran.
That was a threat to peace.
2. The withdrawal of British and French troops from Syria and Lebanon was a result of a Security Council expression of strong views.
3. The Security Council has helped to protect the political independence and territorial integrity of Greece, even though the Soviet Union three times vetoed efforts to deal with the situation. Twice the vetoes overcame a majority of nine, which supported resolutions finding that assistance to and support of guerrillas on the northern borders of Greece constituted a threat to the peace, within the meaning of chapter VII of the Charter.
Here is where we were strongly tempted, to get out of chapter VI and into chapter VII.
The third veto was on a resolution requesting the General Assembly to make recommendations in the Greek case. The veto failed in its purpose; it did not bar all UN service for peace. The Security Council merely divested itself of the subject, and the General Assembly, 5 weeks later, passed a resolution calling upon Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia to do nothing which could furnish assistance to the guerrillas.
By that resolution the General Assembly also established the Balkan Commission with headquarters at Salonika to observe compliance with the recommendations and to assist in implementing them. These recommendations outlined specific methods for settlement of their disputes by peaceful means. These four countries had to implement these resolutions. This Balkan Commission is now at work on the ground. The tremendous moral effect of surveillance by all of the rest of the world is now being witnessed.
The United Nations certainly has upset the timetable of the aggression of communism in Greece. The United Nations is helping Greece in her struggle for freedom. The United States, in cooperation with the United Nations has helped Greece to preserve her independence.
What would have happened to Greece had it not been for the United Nations, even hindered as it was by the veto in the Security Council ? You can well envisage what the condition on the Mediterranean would be today without United Nations action.
I am pointing out that on every one of these test cases we have been successful in preserving peace and preventing war in spite of the existence and use of the veto. At other times when it could have been used it was not because the practice has grown up in the vital life of the Charter which has made it possible for us to proceed through abstention instead of the use of the veto.
Now, here is the fourth incident: Indonesia was another situation, the continuance of which might have led to a threat to international security and peace. War had already begun between the Dutch and Indonesians, but the Security Council was able to obtain a truce. Moreover, a good offices committee was set up, which helped to determine lines of demarcation between the forces and to obtain agreement on 18 principles to guide the setting up of the United States of Indonesia.
Progress is now being made on the basis of pacific solution toward security for a population equal to half of that of the United States.
If we look at those islands on the map, we do not realize how much humanity was affected by that war that had already commenced and which we stopped.
In addition, one of the great consequences of the pacific settlement of this dispute is to give strength to the movement away from the old colonial system and toward self-government and independence. This movement is of critical importance as to a vast area, both in Asia and Africa. We find it involved indirectly in the next item-IndiaPakistan.
By the way, what would you have done without the United Nations in the Indonesian case? What would have happened had there not been a United Nations to step in and exercise its benign influence on